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    Safety Tips | Industrial hygiene | Office safety | Workplace exposure

    Improve indoor air quality

    March 1, 2012

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    Workers exposed to poor indoor air quality may experience headaches, shortness of breath, coughing or nausea. The Environmental Protection Agency offers the following advice for improving indoor air quality:

    • Maintain a good working relationship with building management.
    • Make sure air supply vents are not blocked by furniture or equipment.
    • Manage pollutant sources, such as smoking, remodeling and renovation materials, housekeeping and pest control products, or exhaust fumes from loading docks or garages.
    • Isolate areas chosen for remodeling or renovation activities to minimize exposure to pollutants or schedule activities for weekends.
    • Moisture and relative humidity can cause mold and other contaminants to thrive. Respond quickly to leaks, floods and other incidents.
    • Provide educational opportunities for staff members that establish clear pollutant source management procedures.
    • Speak with a physician if any health problems occur to discuss possible symptoms caused by indoor air-related problems.
    • Store food correctly and dispose of garbage quickly.
    • Minimize outdoor particles of dust or dirt that may be drawn into a building from outside, but may also be produced from sanding wood, drywall, printing, copying or operating equipment.
    • In the event that an employee reports a symptom believed to be caused by poor indoor air quality, investigate the ventilation system and consider help from a qualified professional.

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